Duct Tape

Duct Tape

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Duct Tape is a type of cloth-backed, water resistant tape sometimes coated with a substance such as polyethylene. It comes in many different color, patterns and sizes, and though it was originally used only for practical bonding purposes it is now often used fordecoration. On the web, the tape is regarded as a fix-all, and is often used in crafts to create accessories and home decor.


The origin of duct tape dates back to World War II [11], when Johnson & Johnson created a water resistant tape which incorporated duck cloth backing. However a substance called duct tape was used in the creation of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1902. The term duct tape was officially trademarked in 1960 by Albert Arno, Inc., a company based in St, Louis, Missouri. In 1975 Duck Tape brand duct tape was created by Jack Kahl.


Jim Berg and Tim Nyberg, known as "the duck tape guys, have published six books on the subject including Duct Tape Book Two: Real Stories (1995), Duct Tape Book: The Ultimate Duct Tape Book (1998) and The Jumbo Duct Tape Book (2000). The pair are responsable for two popular catch phrases about duct tape: “It ain’t broke, it just lacks duct tape,” and, “Two rules get you through life: If it’s stuck and it’s not supposed to be, WD-40 it. If it’s not stuck and it’s supposed to be, duct tape it.” In February 2003, demand for duct tape rose sharply[12] after U.S. Fire Administrator David Paulison suggested it might be a useful item in case of a terrorist attack which included a chemical or biological attack.


On April 18th, 2003, the first Urban Dictionary[1] entry for "duct tape was submitted by user Ben, who defined it as:

“Nuclear fallout protection, also good for stopping chemical/biologilcal attacks.”

This is a good example of the hyperbole surrounding duct tape. On May 17th, 2011, the Tumblr blog fuckyeahduct-tape[9], which features duct tape creations, was created.

On August 22nd, 2012, the subreddit r/DuctTapeStuff[10] was created. As of May 2014, the subreddit has over 180 subscribers.

Duct Tape Tutorials

Tutorials teaching viewers how to make things with duct tape such as bags and wallets are popular on YouTube. As of May 2014, the most viewed duct tape tutorials on YouTube are titled “DIY: Duct Tape Wallet ((Bifold with Pockets && ID holder)),” (below, left) uploaded by YouTuber Craftastic[2] on November 8th, 2010, and “How to Make a Duct Tape Wallet,” uploaded by YouTuber MonkeySee[3] on June 29th, 2009. As of May 2014, both videos have gained over 2.5 million views.

Duct Tape Prom

Every year since 2001[8], Duck Brand duct tape holds a contest called Stuck at Prom[7] for the best duct tape outfits created and worn by a couple at prom, with a total of $50,000 in scholarship money split between the winners and runner-ups. The contest, and prom dress creations have been covered by many sites including Buzzfeed[4], The Washington Post[5] and The Huffington Post.[6]

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